Saturday, March 29, 2014

The DeSean Debacle

The Philadelphia Eagles made a very smart transaction on Friday March 28th, 2014.
They rid themselves of a problem that would only continue to manifest and eventually blow up, otherwise known at DeSean Jackson.
Rest assured more facts will come out from sources, including the Eagles, over the next days and weeks.  People will want to make this about race. People will speculate about criminal activity or proof.  
The reality is that regardless of what is yet to be learned, this is solely on DeSean Jackson (with an assist from Aaron Hernandez).  Jackson had a reputation coming out of college that lowered is draft status. Sadly, Jackson could never learn from that situation (which caused him to lose money) and the trend continued.
A few years into his rookie contract, Jackson sulked and for the most part admitted he did not give it his all while striving for a new contract. In what world does that make sense? So you want to make more money, but you do not want to work for it? In Jackson's world.
Jackson was frequently questioned for his practice work ethic. If you closed your eyes you could almost hear Jackson mimicking Alan Iverson. Practice? Practice? We're talking about practice?  Yes DeSean, practice counts when you want to be considered an elite wide receiver in the NFL.  
Sadly, due to Jackson's importance in spreading out the field for the Philadelphia Eagles, his bad attitude and behavior was rewarded in 2012. Even back then I questioned this decision,  In the same post I also questioned the writer's willingness to buy "Jackson's newfound maturity."  Guess I may have been onto something.
It has been clear from day one of Jackson's NFL career that he was not going to change. The Eagles initially played by the unwritten professional sports rules.  Ignore reality in public and have "fixers or cleaners" on your payroll to help these problem children.  Most children grow up. DeSean chose not to. It will cost him money.
The speculation is running wild now. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that the Eagles and not Jackson changed. Fair point Jeff, but what has not changed is the Eagles are in charge.  That is a concept that Jackson has a hard time understanding. Youthful indiscretions or immaturity are expected to minimize over time not stay the same or potentially increase. 
ESPN reports that up to 9 teams are interested in Jackson. It will be very intriguing to see if a team signs him. The red flags are everywhere. This goes beyond the gang speculation. The guy simply has not proven to be a team player. He has and always will be about himself.  No doubt that speed kills, but at what cost? Let's also be realistic about Jackson's on field play. He's a small receiver that can be taken out of games by physical teams (Seahawks, 49ers anybody?).  Jackson can spread the field out with speed, but that could be a luxury that many teams do not want to afford or risk.
One last consideration... NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has demonstrated a no tolerance policy for bad behavior.  I wonder if Goodell has put a buyer beware message out to the other NFL owners about Jackson.
The Eagles made a tough but smart decision. Jackson should look in the mirror and make a similar decision about moving forward. Don't count on it.
Think you are a real NFL Fan? Go to
Spring is finally on its way to the east coast. To celebrate this long overdue change I recently tried an Abita Spring IPA. Yes I was that desperate for spring that I purchased beer with Spring in the name.  Winter was that long. The description fits the beer. Spring IPA is a hoppy (West Coast Yo) citrus tasting beer that also has a slight spice making it ever so slightly sweet. The seasonal Abita beer is very drinkable and has an easygoing 6.25 ABV.  




Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Stupor Bowl

Whoa whoa whoa. Stop the clock. Don’t get me wrong (hand shaking), the Super Bowl is the greatest annual sports game. Solo. Game.  The NCAA tournament is the best sporting event, but that’s another ball of wax. Actually synthetic leather, but who’s counting.  So what’s up with the stupor? What in deed? Why does Der F├╝hrer Commissioner Roger Goodell continually insist on breaking what is already fixed?
The 48th Super Bowl is being played in beautiful New York. Actually it is being played in New Jersey but that does not market as well so New York it is.  The forecast for the day is a high of 48 degrees and is projected to be 38 degrees around kick-off with only a 10% chance of precipitation.  To be safe, the NFL has conducted trial snow removal processes and has contingency plans to move the date to Saturday or Monday if required due to weather.  Why go through this trouble playing in a cold weather market?  To appease the wealthy and not the NFL fans.

Roger Goodell’s annual salary is $29M.  That would be 29 Million Dollars A Year.  Roger Goodell’s job description is to make more money for the people he reports to, the NFL owners.  Goodell is flawless in this capacity.  Why do you think the Super Bowl is really being held in New York New Jersey?  Why is Goodell contemplating an 18 game season or expanding to Europe.  It’s about the paper. Cash money.
Still not with me? The NFL charged $28.50 per person for NFL fans to attend Media Day this week. Approximately 7,000 people attended. Bababooey math tells me that is $199,500 for basically nothing. Nice profit margin Roger.  Fan friendly? Not so much.

Think that Goodell does not play by his own rules? He fined Marshawn Lynch Lynch $50,000 for not speaking to the media throughout this season.  Lynch graciously provided two media day appearances totally less than 15 minutes combined.  Goodell chose not to fine Lynch.  Now despite what ESPN non NFL Insider Ashley Fox purports in her column lovefest, Lynch like every NFL player should fully participate. If Manning was just a man of few words would Goodell stand for that or fine him? 
What really troubles me is that the matchup this year has the potential for an all-time classic.  A gritty earn every yard defense vs. a prolific offense led by future Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning.  While both teams play in cold weather, this game should be under the traditional weather constraints of the Super Bowl.  Play the game in a weather neutral environment such as a dome (boo) or warm weather climate.  Regardless of the prognosticator’s ramblings and outcome, playing this game outdoors in the Northeast favors the Defense/Run-oriented team.   

That said, the Broncos run the ball well too.  Their defense is not in the same class as the Seahawks, but Russell Wilson and his WR’s are not on Manning and his weapons level either.  The cold will impact Manning though. Count on it.  That’s not to say Manning will play poorly, he just won’t be as crisp as he would be in warmer weather. 
Another factor, regardless of location, is the hype of the game itself. Manning is the only player with Super Bowl experience.  The warm-ups occur more removed from game time and the half time is forever.  The team that reacts more favorably to this will have an edge.

My gut tells me that Seattle is the logical pick due to the conditions.  I just think they may be 1 year too early and that Manning is on a mission this year like Elway in 1998.  Broncos 24 Seahawks 20.
Share what your gut tells you at
Tis the season for the get them while you can beers such as Bells Hopslam, Russian River Pliny the Younger and Lagunitas Sucks (7.85% ABV). Good luck trying to get the first 2. You literally have to sleep out like an 80’s concert at Ticketmaster locations or know somebody.  That’s why I suggest picking up a case of Lagunitas Sucks.  Let me tell you something. It doesn’t. Not even close. Sucks is the Lagunitas IPA on citrus steroids. It is ridiculous and delicious.  This is especially true if you live in a cold weather state (F Goodell) and have been recently on the Stout diet.  Sucks is like a little bit of spring in February. Enjoy some Lagunitas with this year’s Super Bowl and hope the weather doesn’t suck.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

The NFL Final Four

I’m excited aren’t you?  It’s finally here.  Yup, the NBA unveiled its sleeved 2014 All Star jerseys.  Talk about a league desperate for some attention. Jeez.  The other day a few of us were discussing the state of the NBA when a friend asked if anyone could name a current Detroit Piston. Nobody could.  The storied franchise with a history of Joe Dumars, Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Adrian Dantley, Grant Hill and nobody could name a current player.  Don’t worry though ESPN has Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose to champion this lost league.  Hehehehehehehe.
The NFL is never desperate. They have no need.  Sadly we are down to the final Four NFL weekend.  It actually is sad. Think about it. We are about to enter the annual dead zone.  You know that time post Super Bowl and pre March Madness.  For those in cold weather states there is no running from the dead zone as outdoor activities are not an option.   

The good news? Yes, there is always good news. The final 2 weekends of the 2013-14 NFL season have a great chance to be both memorable and spectacular.  Sports Illustrated’s PeterKing appropriately noted that the NFL could not have asked for more intriguing matchups even if they staged it.  Go to to voice your opinion about the best matchups.
In the AFC Championship arguably 2 of the greatest QB’s ever to play the game compete against each other for perhaps the last time in the playoffs.   Tom Brady and his surprising Patriots take on Peyton Manning yet again, but this time with the Denver Broncos.    Love or hate Bill Belichick the guy is an all-time great game planner.  Belichick teams are the chameleons of the NFL.  The Divisional round vs. the Colts is the ultimate example.  Just when you figure the Pats would put all their eggs into the Tom Brady basket, they run all over the Colts all day.  Who knew?

The Broncos played a solid, but not spectacular game to beat the Chargers.  Manning and the Broncos were somewhat criticized for this.  What happen to just win baby?  The Broncos defense never let Chargers QB Phillip Rivers get comfortable and essentially took away the running game when it mattered. That’s really all that Manning needed.
This game is a true toss-up.  Most suggest that Brady just has Manning’s number.  The win-loss history favors Brady. However, last time I checked Brady plays against the Bronco defense, not Manning.  My gut tells me that Broncos coach John Fox (former Defensive coordinator) and current defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio take away the run, get physical with smallish WR’s Justin Edelman and Danny Amendola and force Brady to throw to his inexperienced other options.  A few drops results in Brady frustration. 

Manning will get stronger as the game goes on and the Broncos just have too many options on offense (J. Thomas, D. Thomas, W. Welker, E. Decker, M. Bell and K Moreno).  That’s a lot. And they all want to win this for Bud-light loving Peyton.
As if that game is not enough the San Francisco 49ers visit the Seattle Seahawks and the 12th man.   These teams just don’t like each other.  At all.  Think Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers dislike.  Both teams have been chirping this week.  Similar, but different to the AFC Championship game, the QB’s will also determine the outcome of this game. 

The teams are similarly matched on defense and special teams.  Both teams can really run the ball with a slight edge to Seattle and the Beast.  The 49ers have more receiving weapons with a healthy and rejuvenated Tim Crabtree, Vernon Davis, and last year’s playoffs hero Anquan Boldin.  If Percy Harvin was healthy he would be a huge differentiator for the Hawks. He’s not.
Subtract all of that and you are left with Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson.  Both are two year starters in the NFL that make plays with their feet as much as their arms.  Each of them will do so in this game too. The QB that makes more plays with his head will win the game.  That points to Wilson and the Seahawks.  Either way bring me a yogurt.

Much to my surprise a local watering hole had SouthernTier’s Choklat on tap the other night.  This is a serious beer.  There is just something about drinking a solid stout beer on a cold winter night.  Choklat is an imperial stout (think strong 10% ABV) that is like imbibing desert. Choklat is chocolaty (no shit clay), but not sweet while also being creamy and smooth.  Choklat is the perfect end of the evening beverage.


Friday, January 10, 2014

WTF Happened This Week & The NFL Divisional Round 2014

So this is the world we live in. Some highlights from the past week…
Bobby Petrino was rehired by Louisville despite him previously screwing them to go to the Atlanta Falcons only to screw the Falcons by quitting during the season to go to Arkansas to get caught literally screwing having an affair.  That would be as crazy as Alabama hiring Mr. Mediocre Lane Kiffin as offensive coordinator.  Oh never mind.  Rumor has it that the Louisville board asked current men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino for his advice.  Hey now!

The Houston Texans hired Penn State coach Bill O’Brien who promptly fired the remaining staff of  former head coach Gary Kubiak,  and then quickly hired the majority of his Penn State staff (sure always fire NFL experience and replace with college).  Meanwhile in Happy Valley PSU interviewed current Miami Hurricane coach Al Golden, recently fired Tennessee Titan coach Mike Munchak and current Vanderbilt coach James Franklin. As of Thursday Penn State had hired Franklin or maybe they didn’t. Then again maybe they did.
Oh yeah, Florida State also came from behind to upset (yes upset) Auburn in the final BCS ever.  It was a helluva game. If you have really watched football over the years you realized that approximately midway through the 3rd quarter when FSU kicked a field goal to make it 21-13 Auburn this game was changing.  It did. Auburn needed to respond there and then.  They didn’t.  The Auburn Tre Mason TD run giving Auburn a 31-27 lead with 1:19 to go was sensational. It should have never come to that.  2 missed tackles later by Auburn on a simple FSU out pattern that went for 49 yards and FSU would soon celebrate.  Step on their throats next time Coach Malzahn.

Meanwhile in the league where they play for pay (WTF does that mean anyway? Don’t they get paid to play in every professional league?), the elite 8 is upon us.  The divisional round has recently been referred to as the upset round of the playoffs.   There have been 44 divisional games since 2002, in that time 16 home teams (36.4 percent) have been upset. At least one home team failed to advance to the next stage in each of the last seven years. Keep in mind that the home team is the higher ranked team not necessarily the point spread favorite.
Fast forward to this weekend.  This is how Vegas sees it:

Saints -7.5 vs. Seahawks
Colts – 9.5 vs. Patriots
49ers pick em vs. Panthers
Chargers -10.5 vs. Broncos

The trendy upset (game winner, not point spread) is the Chargers due to Peyton Manning and the Broncos recent playoff history.   It does not matter if Phillip Rivers wears his bolo tie to the game or not (thanks Schefty for that valuable reporting).  The Broncos win this game.  My NFL people say the Patriots, yes Peter King, the Patriots are the team that will be upset this weekend.  Tom Brady is a football god. Nobody can question that.  You can question the inexperience of the majority of Brady’s playmakers and the Patriots offense without Rob Gronkowski.  The Patriots defense has been decimated with injuries.  Colts QB Andrew Luck is the future and the stuff stories are made of.  Colts win.
Don’t sleep on the Saints either.  They are embarrassed and pissed about the blowout loss to the Hawks earlier this season.  The Seahawks defense, while formidable, is also very injured.  The Seahawks most likely win, but it will be close and the 12th man will be a factor.

The 49ers win in a close game that Cam Newton makes the big mistake at the wrong time.
Most importantly if you think (yeah that's right think) you are real NFL fan prove it at  Are you fan enough?
Yards Brewing (Philly in the house!) recently release their Rye IPA and dayam it is good. You want hops you got hops – Centennial, Citra, Simcoe and Columbus mixed with whole Chinook flower and tons of Citrus. I’m staying.  The 6.2% ABV will be perfect to enjoy several during this divisional round in the league where they pay for play.

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Love Hate Guide to the NFL Wild Card Weekend

For NFL fans (check out the NFL wildcard weekend is a back-to-back thrill ride of NFL action.  Chances are that you root for 1 of the 20 teams that sadly did not make the playoffs.  Steelers, Giants, Cowboys, Falcons, Bears, Dolphins, Lions and Cardinals fans I feel for ya.  Ravens fans suck so just deal and move on.
So what to do?  How about a 4 game preview with reasons to root or hate on that team along with a prediction? Hell yeah.

Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) vs. Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
Pro Chiefs:  Jamaal Charles is electrifying.  On the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium Charles should have a monstrous day.  Charles single handedly knocked out several fantasy football teams with his ridiculous performance in week 15 when he blew up on the Raiders with 5 TD’s and 205 total yards.  Kind of makes you rethink Nick Foles great 7 TD performances vs. the Raiders doesn’t it?  Add the Chiefs defense which led the NFL TD’s per game (0.4).

Anti Chiefs:  Alex Smith is the ultimate bus driver.  He reminds me so much of Jeff Hostettler that I hope that he has grown a horrible mustache for the playoffs.  Smith is not exciting in anyway and head coach Andy Reid knows it. Smith started 15 games and threw a middle of the pack 23 TDs with 7 interceptions for a mediocre 89.1 QB Rating. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.   In addition, it is not that difficult to root against Andy Reid as he once again joined a team filled with talent that was underperforming.
Pro Colts:  Chuck Pagano and Andrew Luck are good guys to root for. Pagano missed the majority of his first full season as the Colts head coach recovering from Leukemia.  The CHUCKSTRONG movement last year was inspiring on many levels.  When it is all said and done Andrew Luck will be the QB that everyone remembers the most from the class of 2012.  Luck, RG3, Ryan Tannehill, Russell Wilson, Foles, Kirk Cousins (keep an eye on Cousins), and of course Russell Wilson were included in this strong draft.  Sure RG3 and Wilson got the praise their rookie year (deservedly). Of course the NFL caught up with the Pistol and only Wilson has continued his success while playing on the most complete team.  Luck is the complete QB though.  Big, smart, fast enough, Luck is the real deal.

Anti Colts:  Start with the Lucas Oil dome.  This is the only game that is played inside this weekend.  The NFL playoffs are simply better when played outside.  Add Trent Richardson to the list. Richardson (see comments on Smith, Alex) is pretty much a bust at this point and even when running hard does not seem to get anywhere (upside Keith Byars, downside see ya).   Maybe the Browns knew what they were doing when they traded Richardson.

New Orleans Saints (11-5) vs. the Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
Pro Saints: It is difficult to root against Drew Brees.  Whether it is simply the NFL marketing or not, Brees seems like a good dude.  More importantly he delivers on the field.  He is fearless and a hell of a leader. Add the fact that he is in the truly elite pantheon of current NFL QB’s (Peyton, Brady, Brees- sorry Aaron).   Also, if you have ever played sports how could you not want to play for a balls out gambler like Sean Payton?  Dude always puts it on the line and is willing to step on your throat in a moment’s notice.

Anti Saints: Again that dome thing is present. Now the Saints are on the road this week in 25 degree weather, but in general it’s just easy to root against dome teams.  Add that fool defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and you could pretty easily find yourself rooting for the Eagles.

Pro Eagles:  Chip Kelly has made so many people believers this NFL season. Kelly quickly adapted to the NFL and knocked it on its ass.  Time will tell if Kelly can continue this success in future years, but credit him for this season.  From his smoothies to loud music during practice to his frenetic paced offense Kelly is good times.  LeSean McCoy is this generations Barry Sanders. Don’t get me wrong (hand shaking up and down), Sanders was more electrifying but McCoy is close.  Shady’s ability to bust a game open at any moment is legit.
Anti Eagles: Start with the Fans. They are loud obnoxious and desperate (no Super Bowl titles, none).  The Eagles fans are so annoying that the Philadelphia police are dressing up as Saints fans to help mitigate potential fights.  Also the Eagles “Fly Eagles Fly” theme song is so awful (and clearly written for fans with an elementary school education) that it’s sad. Nick Foles is a little fraudulent.  Foles had a great season. Credit Kelly for adapting his offense to Foles skills. Credit Foles for executing the game plan.  The Cowboys (terrible defense) demonstrated that a little pressure against Foles changes his game in a big way. The Foles hype is enough to make you get on the “who dat” bandwagon.

San Diego Chargers (9-7) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (11-5)

Pro Chargers:  Mike McCoy was named head coach and was the first coach to realize that a quick drop and pass offense would help elevate QB Phillip Rivers game.  It did. Rivers had 32 TD’s and almost 4,500 yards passing this season.   The San Diego offense is enjoyable to watch with Ryan Matthews, Danny Woodhead, Antonio Gates, Keenan Allen, Eddie Royal and Vincent Brown all as game breaking options.

Anti Chargers: Start with the cheesy way that they got into the playoffs. The Chiefs rested several players including Jamaal Charles, Alex Smith, receiver Dwayne Bowe, linebacker Tamba Hali, linebacker Derrick Johnson, offensive tackle Branden Albert, and defensive lineman Dontari Poe. Even with the Chiefs resting those key players the Chargers needed a missed Ryan Succup 41 yd. FG with a few seconds to go and overtime to win the game.  End with the fact that the Chargers simply are not that good and that it is currently 20 degrees on the east coast (where I live) and 65 degrees in San Diego.

Pro Bengals: Because damnt they are due.  Marvin Lewis is very likable and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is even more so. The Bengals won a touch AFC Central disposing of last year’s Super Bowl winner Baltimore Ravens.  Giovanni Bernard, Andy Dalton and AJ Green provide a good not great offense and Zimmer always has the D ready to go.

Anti Bengals: Dalton has yet to break through in the playoffs. Worse than that Dalton has a propensity to show his Eli face.

Add the fact that Pacman Jones and Terrence Newman remain active cornerbacks and it’s pretty easy to change your alliance.

San Francisco 49ers (12-4) vs. the Green Bay Packers (8-7-1)

Pro 49ers:  It is the last year of Candlestick Park a place of legendary moments including the Catch among others. Jim Harbaugh is another coach that you want to run through a wall for. The SF defense hits hard, Colin Kaepernick has excitability; Frank Gore and Vernon Davis are studs that nobody talks about and of course, the Anquan Boldin factor. Don’t know what that is? Ask Joe Flacco.

Anti 49ers: With an opportunity to smack the NFC West division winning Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers came up small. The Seahawks throttled the 49ers in week 2, 29-3.  The 49ers sort of got some revenge in week 14 by squeaking by the Hawks 19-17 which was hardly convincing.  All year the 49ers fans have been waiting for this team to gel and dominate. They simply have not.

Pro Packers:  Real simple, this game will be played in potential -15 degree weather at Lambeau Field. If you can’t get excited by that you are a fan of a dome team or a poser. This game may be colder than the Ice Bowl from 1967.

Anti Packers:  The Packers limped into the playoffs on an Aaron Rogers prayer answered not so much by Randall Cobb but more so by an awful Bears defense. Don’t get me wrong (hand still shaking up and down) give Rogers, Cobb and the Pack credit for the W.  Just be realistic. This Packers defense is awful and hardly playoff worthy.  Remember when you thought that the Peyton Manning commercials were everywhere? Admit it you would drink Miller Lite for a week (not me) to trade those for those non ending putrid Aaron Rogers discount double check commercials. They are so present and awful that I’m starting to rethink my love of Cheers based on George Wendt’s overexposure.

And the winners are: The Chiefs, Eagles, Bengals and 49ers.  The Chiefs just have too much on offense for the Colts. The weather will be the deciding factor for the Eagles and the Bengals and the 49ers are just better.

Yards is a local Philadelphia beer best known for their Philadelphia Pale Ale which coincidentally is one of my favorite go to beers. Yards is not especially known for their specialty brews. I was fortunate to receive Yards Cicada, Belgian ale, as a holiday gift this season.  Cicada has a strange, but tasty blend of honey, citrus within Belgian yeast.  The ABV is 8.5% which is higher but not so much for a typical Belgian beer.  For those of us in the cold this wildcard weekend, I suggest keeping warm with a Cicada.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Perfect Storm or Reality Bites

If you are a Philadelphia Eagles fans (first my apologies) then you could use either of these movie titles to describe the2013-14 NFL season.  Surely most, if not all of you, would select The Perfect Storm.  I mean if any form of Rocky or Silver Linings Playbook is not available.  

The Perfect Storm?  Relax; I will explain it for this challenged fan base.   In professional sports even talented coaches like Andy Reid simply need to move on at some point. The message gets old. The players don’t really hear it anymore. The fires just don’t burn as bright or deep.  That noted Reid left a combination of talented offensive players (LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, 4/5 of the offensive line) and potential solid players on defense (Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry, Mychal Kendricks).
Enter Chip Kelly.

Kelly brought a new voice, regime, way of doing things including training (loud music, smoothies) and most importantly a dynamic offense not yet seen in the NFL.  Repeat that last part to yourself. It’s important.
The story gets better.   The Eagles, through no fault of their own, play in the worst division (NFC East) in the NFL.  And they are playing a last place schedule.  Subtract the AFC West opponents and the Eagles toughest opponent this year was the surprising Arizona Cardinals at 10-5. The next best was either the Dallas Cowboys or Chicago Bears with 8 wins.  How’d the Eagles fare against the AFC West? 1-3 beating the lowly Raiders.

Injuries are a huge part of the NFL.  Any guesses how many significant injuries the Eagles have had this year?  1.  That number again is 1.  Jeremy Maclin.  That’s it.   In today’s NFL that is remarkably lucky.  Comparatively do you know how many back-up quarterbacks the Eagles have played against this season? 4.  Also running backs DeMarco Murray and Adrian Peterson missed their games vs. the Eagles due to injury.  It’s all good. You play who you play.  Just understand that this occurred the same season as the last place schedule and new offensive scheme.
The Eagles most likely will and should win the NFC East. They are to be credited for this. No other team stepped up and won it.  Due to the NFL’s playoff rules, the Eagles as division winners will host a playoff game. That gives them a chance to win a playoff game too.  Eagles’ fans should recognize that they are playing with house money and this is a dream season.

They won’t.  Most are too ignorant to understand the facts (several outlined above) to truly appreciate this season. 
The other reality that will occur is the 2014-15 season.  The Eagles will then be playing a first place schedule.  My strongest guess is that they will not be nearly as lucky with the injury bug.  Plus, and this is the big one, the NFL will (gasp) catch to Chip Kelly’s offensive schemes.  Will other teams entirely be able to stop it?  Some will and some will not depending on players and scheme.  However, the fast pace and the plays will no longer be surprising each week.  The NFL is a copycat league. Remember last year when the “pistol” was unstoppable?  You don’t see as much this year do you?  Now don’t get me wrong (hand waiving up and down) I believe that Chip Kelly is the real deal.  He will also counter the moves made by the opposing teams.  How many tricks or innovations does he have?  Time will tell.

The Eagles are in a far better place than they were 1 season ago.  However, the reality is that they have significant challenges to continue their improvement once this perfect storm of the 2013-14 season concludes. The defense is mediocre at best with an awful secondary.  Matt Cassell torched them only 2 weeks ago for 382 yards and 2 TD’s.  Do you think that Eagle Nation gets that? No chance. They are too fascinated in Dallas Cowboys Brokeback Mountain Memes.
Eagles fan or not, check out and see if you are really fan enough.
Toast in this holiday season with a Scaldis Noel Belgian Winter Ale.  This is a classic Belgian Ale darkish in color with a spicy aroma noting fruit. Dry in taste with a 12% ABV, enjoy the Scaldis Noel in a snifter with a fire roaring in the background. Drink it too fast and you won’t need the fire to warm yourself.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Hit Him Where It Hurts

The Dallas Cowboys are a flawed team. They have been all season. If, and that's a big if, you pay attention to the NFL or the Cowboys and are honest, this is not news.  Of course neither do "sports experts" that tweet the majority of information to gullible readers, but don't let that stop a good theory.

Once again the Cowboys General Manager has let the team, the fans, and the players down.  Unfortunately for the fans and team the GM has the most secure job in the world.  No new tales to tell there.
The Grinch Who Always Steals Christmas
Approximately 12 players on the current roster were picked up off the street this season Sure injuries impact all teams. The mantra "next man up" has never been more popular or true in the NFL this season.  The difference is that most NFL teams "next man" is actually a player drafted by that team.  Several sources questioned Jerry's decision not to draft or acquire defensive line help this past off-season.  Jerry chose to ignore the obvious drafting unnecessary pieces like 3rd string TE Gavin Escobar (Round 2, 47th overall!) and RB Joseph Randle (Round 5).

Fourteen defensive linemen were drafted from Escobar through just the 4th round. 14. Most of them are contributing rotation players in the league. The Giants drafted 2 defensive linemen in that range. Why? Because they understand that often times the strength of the team comes from the inside. Draft, coach, and start. How often does that occur with the Cowboys? 

So Cowboys fans where does that leave you? Floundering at 8-8 yet again. Deep sigh... What can be done about this when the owner is also the GM? With peace and love ask yourself this. Have you recently questioned your loyalty to the Cowboys?  Do you ever get to the point where you simply say to yourself, "why do I continually put myself through this each week of the NFL season every year?  When will this change? Will it ever change?  Why do the Cowboys make the same mistakes week after week and year after year?

I do not advocate changing the team you root for. There is too much of that going on as it is. So if not changing alliances then what is your option for improvement?

As with many things in life the answer is simple. It is the execution that is difficult.

If you have ever asked any of those questions then consider this. If you are true Cowboy fan take this seriously. Think it through before you make your decision. Ready. Here it goes. 

Stop spending any money on the Dallas Cowboys. Any. Money. On the Cowboys. This means no tickets (including Stubhub and other ticket exchanges). This includes no jerseys, t-shirts, hats, jackets, you name it if the words Dallas Cowboys or their logo is on it, do not buy it. Period.

There are really only 3 ways to hurt a person like Jerry Jones enough to get him to consider change. 

Embarrassment - personally I do not believe that Jones ample ego allows for embarrassment.  If you disagree, simply read his many inept defensive quotes after a loss or a win.  Other than struggling to decipher Jones offers little embarrassment.  Also Jones does just enough to keep the Cowboys from being a laughing stock.  The Cowboys are rarely 5-11 or worse. 

Apathy - if the majority of Cowboys fans could simply turn off their emotions and not care about the team Jones would be forced to make changes.  Unfortunately that is too much to ask of fans.

Hurt his wallet - Jones has a ton of cash.  More than you or I will ever see in our lives.  People like Jones thrive  on their overall worth. Our collective efforts would never come close to making Jones poor. However what would happen if the Cowboys were in the 2nd tier of NFL teams in merchandise? Do you realize that the Cowboys are the only NFL team that markets and distributes their own merchandise? By cutting out the middlemen, additional profits go directly to JERRY.

So as I ask you to consider this ban on Cowboys merchandise, consider that it will have impact. Do you honestly believe that your other actions could possibly have impact? Aren't you tired of living the definition of insanity? Your dog needs a break.  Make Jerry notice that the fans are tired of his continual ineptitude.

We Can Do This


Tis the season to taste and hopefully enjoy the Winter/Holiday beers. Like receiving holiday gifts often times these seasonal beers can be hit or miss. Evil Genius Naughty or Nice leans more towards miss. This malty beer has all of the traditional holiday ingredients (all-spice, cinnamon, cloves, etc.) but the balance is slightly off. Don't get me wrong (hand shaking up and down), Naughty or Nice is drinkable. The 7.2% ABV helps on a cold winter night. It just could be better.

Happy holidays.